Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov has spoken out against his country taking part in a Black Sea fleet being proposed by Turkey and Romania in what is seen as a move by Ankara and Bucharest to act as a counterpoint to Russia.
Borissov’s stance is in contrast to reported statements by Defence Minister Nikolai Nenchev and head of state President Rossen Plevneliev in favour of stepped-up co-operation among Nato countries in the region to enhance the security of Nato’s eastern flank because of concerns about Russia. Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov also has indicated support for the idea of enhanced Nato eastern flank security.
Borissov and Plevneliev were set to hold special talks on the issue on June 16, with a joint news conference to follow.
In talks, Plevneliev and his Romanian counterpart have backed the idea of more active co-operation among Nato countries in South Eastern Europe and the Black Sea region.
Romania, along with Turkey, has been pushing for a permanent naval group of ships of the alliance in the Black Sea. It is expected that the issue will be raised at Nato’s Warsaw Summit in July.
Borissov spoke out against the idea, expressing concern that it would be a provocation against Russia.
“I want to see on the Black Sea sailboats, yachts, tourists, peace and solve. I do not want the resorts to have frigates moving back and forth,” the Bulgarian Prime Minister said.
Deploying naval vessels against Russian ships “already passed the limit of what I can allow,” he said.
Borissov said that he was waiting for Nenchev and Mitov to come “and it will be very unpleasant for me if they have undertaken a commitment. If my ministers have given false hopes, without informing me on this topic, they will have a problem with me. I’ll send ships to fight them”.